Hello! Today is my stop on the blog tour for Painting Bananas by Amanda Paull.
This is the second novel in the Cherry Dene series, but I was told it can be enjoyed as a standalone.
The vibrant colors of the cover drew me in and I found the blurb intriguing because it explores spousal relationships.
The title is also mysterious and unique and tells you nothing about the story. Only after you’re well into the book does it make sense.
Standalone Second Book in the Cherry Dene series
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publication date: August 21, 2020
Painting Bananas is a terrific and maturely-written story about two married middle-aged couples–where they stand in their marriage, how much (or little) they support each other, what their expectations are, and so on.
There is no unnecessary drama and the hard truths are plainly spoken. There are no movie-like feel-good endings, either–and I think it makes this book a winner.
The book explores serious topics, but there’s nothing boring about the way it is done. The dynamics in the two homes is described with wry humor, as are the unfair gender roles, the gaslighting, and the selfishness in the name of maintaining respectability.
Reading about Alison and Martin’s marriage made me furious. I can relate to Alison’s insomnia and my heart went out to her, seeing that she was surrounded by bullies and misogynists.
The slow and meandering first half of the book where Alison befriends new people and meets up with her friends frustrated me because it seemed pointless. Only later does it make sense, but some readers may not want to wait that long. I feel the story comes alive in the second half.
Christopher (who is the husband of Sandy) and Alison’s easy friendship is a delight to read about. I don’t know how to say more without spoiling the fun. All I can say is that it’s not what you think!
You may consider the end of the story happy or sad, depending on how you see it. It was deftly handled and closely mirrored real life. It may open some people’s eyes towards the state of their own marriages.
I have found a new author to watch out for. I shall be reading the first book in the Cherry Dene series sooner rather than later.
(I received a review copy from Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.)
Painting Bananas is all about love, dreams and taking stock.
Two happy couples, one person from each on the verge of change. But as paths cross and plans unfold, will their spouses reveal their true colours?
Alison struggles with insomnia. She also hates her job and fantasizes about throttling her irritating oaf-of-a boss. Thankfully, her lifelong plan to return to university will soon be realized. After supporting her husband in his career for over twenty years, it’s now her turn. He’s rooting for her every step of the way. Or so she thinks.
Meanwhile, Christopher has a wake-up call with his health. Somehow, pre-diabetes has replaced his six-pack. He must take stock immediately. He realises that the perfect solution is right under his nose. He can’t wait to share his brilliant idea with his wife. The future looks good. But does she agree?
Will the spouses show their support? Or will Alison and Christopher start to wonder whether they really know their other halves?
Painting Bananas was written and formatted with British grammar, punctuation and humor. It is the second novel in Amanda Paull’s Cherry Dene series but can be read as a standalone story.
You can get a copy of the book from:
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08GCLSKTQ
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GCLSKTQ
Meet Amanda Paull
Amanda Paull is a writer of humorous romantic fiction. She lives in the North East of England with her husband and works in the public sector. The inspiration for her stories comes from real life, which she tries to show the funnier side of by embellishing to the hilt.
Social Media Links:
Website – https://www.amandapaull.co.uk/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Apaullfiction/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Apaullfiction
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